After a long day of shopping and sightseeing in London, we wanted to grab a nice dinner before heading home and heard that Soho was the place to go for trendy restaurants. At 9pm on a weekday you’d think that you could get a table but no, we got rejected from two restaurants which were fully booked and another restaurant which still had a line stretching down the street. First lesson learnt – Londoners do not have a set dinner time and eat whenever. After a bit more walking, we managed to find our restaurant Cote, which could give us a table in five minutes.
Cote is located on the Oxford St end of Soho and its interior is well furnished, matching the many boutique looking restaurants in the area. Their point of differentiation is that they are affordable with value for money, as advised by a sign outside the restaurant. Tonight we head straight for the mains as we are famished and just want big hearty meals.
Linguine with Seafood – €11.95
(Linguine pasta with tiger prawns, mussels, clams and squid sauteed in garlic, chilli, shallots, white wine and cherry tomatoes)
The first thing which comes out is my pasta. Extremely generous with the seafood, the sauce is very light and goes well with the seafood. The chilli taste is subtle and leaves a slight flavour in the mouth but it could be stronger. Personally, with pastas I prefer a heavier, stronger sauce and I think it could have done with a lemon wedge, but otherwise the dish was really good for its price.
Grilled Lobster with Mayonnaise Vert – €10.95
(Grilled half lobster with herb and garlic mayonnaise, watercress and lemon)
Yvn ordered the lobster entree but ate it as a main instead. It was soft, succulent and was roasted with herbs giving it lots of flavour (Kobe Jones cooked theirs plain and that paled in comparison by far). Along with the mayonnaise, the lobster was absolutely delicious and also extremely affordable!
Pan Roasted Cod – €12.95
(Pan roasted cod fillet with peas, broad beans and baby gem lettuce in a white wine and cream sauce)
The cod was surprisingly also extremely well cooked. I find with fish that it is often overcooked and it is very hard to find that balance. However, this cod was crispy on the outside whilst soft and tender in the middle. The sauce was milky tasting and the vegetables also added a lot of flavour.
Poulet Grille – £10.95
(Chargrilled butterflied chicken breast with wild mushroom, creme fraiche and thyme sauce, served with gratin potato)
Lastly, we have the grilled chicken. It seemed a bit dry but the mushrooms were cooked well and the sauce was also delicious. My friend thought that despite this, the dish came off well together in the end and was very satisfied with this.
Overall, massive thumbs up to Cote! In a city where the cost of living is slightly higher than Sydney, finding a restaurant in an expensive, trendy area which serves up delicious yet affordable food is a rarity. I was extremely happy with the food and the service provided (a waiter gave me instructions to a supermarket for us to buy groceries afterwards) and it shows that London likes it too, given the bustling atmosphere. A great place to visit if you ever want good quality food which is affordable in the Soho area.
124-126 Wardour Street, London
Ph: 020 7287 9280